Project Methodologies

Project methodologies are different in their approach. Whilst the waterfall approach is more structured, agile is more flexible. Is this a good thing, or not?

Agile vs Waterfall

The waterfall approach to software projects has been used for many years.  This method is where the project is broken into stages and/or phases and each one needs to be completed sequentially.  You don’t move onto the next stage of the project until the previous stage has been completed.

I have used and love this method. Why? Because it ensures that each piece of the project IS completed before moving on.

This is so different from the newer approach, the Agile method.

Whilst both methods have their benefits for software delivery, they are very different in their approach and often the outcomes.

Based on my own experience of software development using both methods I much prefer the waterfall method.

I had a reader send me his comments on my post about waterfall versus the agile approach and I addressed each of his points in this post Agile vs Waterfall when to use

What has put me off using the Agile method, whilst I can see the value in fast pasted work and the ability to change track quickly is the ability to miss pieces of the client’s puzzle due to the approach of gathering the requirements for the software being developed.

Until I’ve seen a project successfully delivered using the agile method, I don’t think you’ll change my mind about using it above the waterfall method.

The only key element that I agree with is the people over process. If you have read my blogs and listened to my podcast you will know this is something I stress all the time.

Process Improvement Methodologies Are Different

People often confuse process improvement methodologies with those used for project management.  Take for example Lean Six Sigma.

Lean Six Sigma is a process improvement methodology that works on improving a process by identifying where the failure points in it. This method is wonderful at finding the places in a process where things are going wrong. You freeze the current process and map it, in order to determine where it is failing.

This is not ‘project management.’

Project management occurs when you identify WHERE in the process there is a problem and you set about changing that. That is where the project method intersects with process improvement.